A Carbon-Offset Forest Established for the Mohegan Tribe of Uncasville, Connecticut
Sponsored by the Mohegan Tribe to offset CO2 emissions in Connecticut, 100 acres of special forests were planted by Reforest The Tropics in July 2002. The Mohegan forests were established on a pasture to offset the carbon emission of two large fuel cells in the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The Mohegan Forest project includes a renewable 25-year contract with the farmer. The forests will be managed with light periodic thinnings for farm income and for carbon sequestration and storage. By keeping the extractions light but frequent, we can maintain a productive forest that never needs to be completely cut, that stores carbon indefinitely. The following photos and captions depict and describe the Mohegan forest at various stages of growth. Reforest the Tropics is proud to partner with the Mohegan Tribe to help achieve their carbon-offset objectives.
The 50-acre forest photographed above was established for the Mohegan Tribal Nation in Connecticut on the Las Delicias Farm of the Rojas Family. In 3 or 4 years, periodic thinnings will begin to concentrate the growth on the best trees, to improve the rate of sequestration and to provide logs for the farmer to sell. It is presently sequestering 10 tonnes of CO2/acre/year for the account of the US sponsor. This forest uses 5 tree species. Photo taken February 28, 2008.
Trees produce food for endangered parrots in the Mohegan Carbon-Offset Forest. The centerline in the photo above are Almendro trees that produce food for an endangered parrot species, the Great Green MaCaw. The wood of this tree species is also very dense containing more carbon than many other species. But it is also slow growing and needs shade to develop a good form. In the white hat, Mike Ferrucci, Yale lecturer and forest consultant, inspecting the Mohegan forests. The Klinkii trees produce side shade that helps keep the branches of the Almendro trees small. Photo taken 24 July, 2008.
Depicted above is the 6-year old Mohegan Carbon-Offset Forest in CATIE, Costa Rica, which is being managed in cooperation with the Center for Higher Education and Agricultural Research (CATIE) in Costa Rica. The site was previously used for sugarcane, and the soil has been exhausted. Under this forest canopy, the soil will eventually recuperate and become productive again. This is a mixture of a native broadleaf tree species, Pilon, and Klinkii, a naturalized conifer. As trees grow the sequester CO2, releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere and storing up the carbon in the form of wood. By managing the forest concurrently for wood for the farm to sell, we expect to create a sustainable forest that stores the carbon indefinitely. Photo taken 18 August, 2008.
Shown above is the Mohegan Carbon-Offset Forest in the Las Delicias Farm in Costa Rica, at 6 years old. This photo shows an inspection by an independent forest consultant, Mike Ferrucci, contracted by RTT to verify the health and growth of the forest. This project is done in cooperation with the Rojas Family, owners of this farm, in a 25-year agreement to sequester CO2 and produce wood. This is a UNFCCC-AIJ program. Photo taken July 25, 2008.
The design being tested here, one of several tested in this project, involves using the differing growth rates and tree crown characteristics to structure a multi-level forest that utilizes all of the abundant solar energy available in the tropics for carbon sequestration and wood production. Because some trees grow faster, they can be harvested earlier for farmer income, while others remain in the sustainable forest to sequester and store CO2 for the account of the US sponsor. Here, workers are having lunch after measuring the annual growth and sequestration in permanent sample plots. The photo was taken on Feb. 14, 2007 in Hac. Las Delicias in Costa Rica.
Shown above, a view of the 1 year and 8 month old Mohegan Carbon-offset Project in Costa Rica. Photo taken on May 5, 2004 in Hacienda Las Delicias in Costa Rica. This project is managed by Reforest The Tropics.